Zuma a ‘factory fault’: former ANC member

A former ANC member says he feels vindicated for leaving the party in 2008 after protesting that the ruling party was taking a wrong turn by appointing Jacob Zuma as president.

“In 2008 many of us resigned from the ANC, painful as it was, to form the Congress of the People (Cope),” said chief whip Dennis Bloem. “We did so to keep alive the dreams of the Freedom Charter and to make the Constitution work for a better tomorrow for every citizen. ANC leaders called us dogs and cockroaches,” he said.

“Many of us who were at the ANC conference in Polokwane in 2007 protested very loudly that the ANC was taking a wrong turn in trusting the leadership of the liberation movement to Mr Zuma,” Bloem said.

“Accusations of criminal activities were stacked up against him. Supporting him was not possible. We were accused, however, of being counter-revolutionaries when in fact we wanted to keep the moral base of the party secure.”

Bloem said that seven years down the line, many senior and ordinary members and leaders of the ANC and its alliance partners are conceding that those who left were right, ‘and that they were wrong’.

He pointed to EFF leader Julius Malema, who was at that time the president of the ANCYL, as an example. “Malema readily acknowledges that he made such a big mistake that he needed to apologise to all of us for giving us this corrupt factory fault as a President,” Bloem said.

Former general secretary of the Labour Federation Cosatu, Zwelinzima Vavi, also acknowledged repeatedly from public platforms that he too had made the biggest mistake in supporting Zuma.

He publicly apologised to former president Thabo Mbeki and the country for his decision to support Zuma. He said: “We were angry. We were so wrong and yes we are still paying very dearly for it.”

Cope said that the whole of the ANC is suffering a loss of reputation because it is failing dismally to govern and to uphold the rule of law.

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Zuma a ‘factory fault’: former ANC member